SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Noga Glucksam

BA in History and International Relations (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), MA in International Relations and International Law (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
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Glucksam Noga
Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD)

Tutor - International Security

Noga Glucksam
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SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
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By appointment
Thesis title:
Transitional Justice and Collective Identity: Contesting concepts of justice in Liberia and Uganda
Year of Study:
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PhD Research

The pursuit of justice after civil wars is often associated with a range of practices and mechanisms commonly known as transitional justice. Accordingly, post-war processes of truth-telling, accountability, and reconciliation are believed to have transformative effect towards more democratic, tolerant and just society. However, the meaning of key concepts underpinning these processes is contextual and contested, and its manipulation seem to reflect underlining identity conflicts, historical experience and power relations between groups. Therefore, to perceive justice and its related concepts as universal and objective is to overlook these dynamics. Justice, this thesis argues, encapsulates a myriad of objectives and priorities which invoke socially charged conceptions such as blame and responsibility, leading to social and political conceptual dissonances. Transitional justice processes inevitably invoke these conceptual dissonances, and the collective identities beneath them. The contestations of concepts such as truth and reconciliation, becomes an arena for claiming, demonstrating and challenging collective identities, sometimes in direct competition with antagonistic identities and perceptions, and with problematic consequences for the ontological security of collective identities which are being empowered or marginalised in the process.

The thesis problematizes conceptual dissonance in the context of post-civil war transitions, and applies the theoretical framework of ontological security to analyse the identity and power dynamics amidst the contestation of three themes of transitional justice: truth-telling, accountability and reconciliation. Using a variety of qualitative data and a mixed method approach, the contestations of concepts within these themes are examined comparatively in two case studies of post-civil war peace building in Liberia and Uganda. The comparative analysis contributes to the theoretical development of the fields of transitional justice and identity politics, as well as to the empirical study of the Liberian and Ugandan complex experiences with peacebuilding and transitional justice.


Journal Articles

Glucksam, Noga. “Book Review: The anatomy of human rights in Israel: constitutional rhetoric and state practice.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 27, no. 3 (September 2014): 615-617.

Glucksam, Noga. “On Time and Responsibility: A critical study of the Liberia TRC as a space of narrative contestation.” (Under review).

Glucksam, Noga. “I Fear, Therefore I Am: Ontological security after civil wars.” (Under review).

Conference Papers

Glucksam, Noga. “Ontological Security in the Aftermath of Civil Wars: Lessons from Liberia and Uganda.” International Studies Association conference (Atlanta, March 2016).

Glucksam, Noga. “Justice after Civil Wars: Between Universal Norms and Local Meanings.” International Studies Association conference (Atlanta, March 2016).

Glucksam, Noga. “On Time and Responsibility: Truth(s), Historicity and Power in the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability (New York, December 2015).

Glucksam, Noga. “The Impact of Presentism in the Liberian Civil-War and its Aftermath.” European Conference on African Studies (Paris, July 2015).

Glucksam, Noga. “The politics of justice and the meaning of accountability: A discursive study of transitional justice in Liberia and Uganda.” London Africa Network Research Day (March 2015).

Glucksam, Noga. “Words, meanings, context and questions: contextual discourse analysis and hypothesis testing.” Bloomsbury Postgraduate seminar series (March 2014).

Glucksam, Noga. “Social Peace-building in Africa: New Look on Traditional Justice.” Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference (Waterloo, Canada, October 2013).


International Studies Association

Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability

Royal African Society